Mastercard to replace Maestro debit cards in the Netherlands in 2023

Mastercard just announced its decision to phase out Maestro debit cards in 2023, and here’s what that means for you and your geldje (money). πŸ’³

From mid-2023, Maestro-branded debit cards will no longer be available, reports Betaalvereniging Nederland (the Dutch payments association).

Why are Maestro debit cards being given the boot?

Maestro debit cards don’t allow customers to pay for products at shops outside of Europe, and even online payments must be facilitated via the online payment system iDeal.

READ MORE | Transaction declined: why don’t my bank cards work in the Netherlands?

Maestro cardholders, therefore, are often left high and dry when attempting to pay for things abroad as their cards don’t allow them to pay in regular shops outside of Europe.

And, they haven’t usually got a credit card to fall back on (something that only 55% of Dutchies own).

The newer Visa Debit and Debit Mastercards that are currently in the process of being rolled out intend to fix these issues. (Better late than never, we guess! πŸ™Œ)

What does this mean for existing Maestro cardholders?

Fortunately, cardholders will not have to wrestle with the beast that is Dutch bureaucracy, as banks will automatically send them a new card sometime in the coming year.

Just over half of all shops in the Netherlands now accept Debit Mastercard and Visa Debit, so they also needn’t worry about being left unable to pay for their essentials whilst the new debit cards are in the process of being rolled out.

What do you think of Mastercard’s decision to get rid of Maestro cards? Tell us all about it in the comments below!

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Liana Pereira πŸ‡±πŸ‡°
Liana Pereira πŸ‡±πŸ‡°
Liana juggles her role as an Editor with wrapping up a degree in cognitive linguistics and assisting with DutchReview's affiliate portfolio. Since arriving in the Netherlands for her studies in 2018, she's thrilled to have the 'write' opportunity to help other internationals feel more at home here β€” whether that's by penning an article on the best SIMs to buy in NL, the latest banking features, or important things to know about Dutch health insurance.
  1. Hi there, why you are saying that Mastercard JUST announced – when this information is viral since October 2021??!

    On the other side, we will finally be able to get out from the very controlled and expensive Dutch Bank Prison!!

      • Thanks for info. Hope its comes in action asap. Payment is really pain at times because of mastereo card n have lost some amnt due to ths stupid non-popular, useless mastereo card.

    • What prison? My Dutch card has always worked everywhere around Europe and the world the last 40 years, I could pay and withdraw without any extra fees. I hate that we are now forced to switch to a company like visa, which isn’t even a bank!

      • > I hate that we are now forced to switch to a company like visa, which isn’t even a bank!

        Neither is Mastercard, which owns Maestro. They’re both financial services providers. So what’s your problem?

    • The EPC (European Payments Council) is clear about the fact that Europe must reduce their reliance on VISA and Mastercard (both US firms). SEPA Instant Credit Transfers (similar to iDEAL), was designed as a cheaper, instant payment system and will in time replace card payments as we know it. That’s what we really need.

  2. It’s not only good news for the Netherlands it’s so f*ing good for tourists like me who cannot pay in the AH or some bars who doesn’t accept Visa or MC.

  3. Finally, it’s about time.

    I have had so many awkward situations when my visiting friends couldnt pay in AHs and I ended up paying it…

    Great news

  4. The peculiar point here is:
    – in the 1990s The Netherlands was the first country with massive use of chipcards for payment (as a successor to the less safe magnetic strip cards)
    – ING (the successor of the Postbank) used the chip standard that was developed for mobile phones (your SIM-card) and could be charged in payphone boots too
    – the other large Dutch banks forced Mastercard and Visa to speed up their chipcard development project: that’s the EMV-standaard (Eurocard Mastercard Visa)
    – and it became the backbone of Maestro debit cards
    ING at that time had about half the consumer bank accounts a legacy of the Postbank, which had been spun out of the Dutch PTT (hence their penchant for the SIM-card / mobile phone and being chargeable / upgradeable in phone boots too).
    – only a few years ago EMV has managed to implement the technology in their cards, that was around in the chipper vs chipknip standards war of the early 1990s in the Netherlands
    – so now, finally the global “Debit Mastercard” can take over.
    It’s not Maestro’s backwardness, but the decades of footdragging with globally implementing some basic chipcard based techs by Mastercard and Visa that caused the limitations to Europe of Maestro.

    • Does the MasterCard Debit work with the same number scheme that a regular MasterCard uses, meaning if someone knows my number + CVC they can likely pay online so it is easy to steal my card, or is that different?

  5. Maestro not being as risky as a general Master or Visa Card I always thought of as a benefit, Germany largely uses the same system, just that for some reason many things are cash only there. The few times I need a credit card, I cam easily get a digital one now on my phone only which is easy to replace should the number get stolen.
    Not sure if Master Debit is similarly easy to steal than a regular credit card, I hope it’s not otherwise this seems like a step in the wrong direction. Yes the EU banking system might be isolated, but that’s because it has higher standards and others (especially US) are just way behind.

  6. Oh wow dutchies will not be the special child of europe anymore and theyll have to use normal cards as everyone else. So glad this relic is out.

    • Read Piet’s reply, it’s the opposite. Visa forced us by not implementing our superior system in the past. Now we are stuck with an American company that is build upon debt. Bad move, but typical.

  7. I dont know where you picked up the term “geldje”, but i can assure you nobody in the Netherlands has ever used it πŸ™‚

  8. – we can pay online, as 90%+ of our online Purchases are from local online stores.
    – and aliexpress support iDeal.
    – 55% of alll shops? So we are going down from 100% to 55% while most had no issues online? Seems bad.

    Yes for tourists it can be a pain(Amex still won’t be accepted) but for the locals it’s not an issues except the kid who isn’t allowed a creditcard yet with the weird mom on twitter

  9. Good Move! Whoever gave it the OK. Thank youuuu. My parents living in the Netherlands, I’m an ING debit card holder “MasterCard” not from The Netherlands yet majority of time I step into a store to buy whatever turns into a nightmare of embarrassment, people queuing behind with their knife-like gazing lets kill him he hold an alien πŸ‘½ card πŸ˜‚. Moreover, Dutch banks won’t allow you to open a current bank account unless you hold a EU Card. WTF! I hold a permanent residency ID. card and a Spanish Passport Travel document issued from a EU. Member state. Who come up with F-up rules like that?? Seriously.

  10. Yes I agree. I think this payment system could be improved with this change.
    In other countries is not always possible to pay with ideal or vpay.

  11. The issue with Maestro were the numerous shops outside the big cities who refused to take anything BUT Maestro, and just Dutch Maestro at that. If effectively meant if you weren’t Dutch or didn’t have a Dutch bank account, you were knackered. I do have a Dutch bank account (Bunq) and I have had the same experience as Khaled.


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